Series: Prince of Tennis
Pairing: Shishido Ryoh/Atobe Keigo
Length: 522 words
Note: Sorry to be late! :)
It wasn't something they talked about - not after the conversation and the kiss in Atobe's bedroom - and they barely even acknowledged the changes. But the differences were obvious to their friends and to their families; Shishido and Atobe's relationship might seem to be the same on the very surface, but something about it was heightened, was richer and brighter and more intense than it had been in the years before, and the pretense of normality was like the calm before the storm. The air practically crackled around them.
Shishido and Atobe felt it too. Their eyes would meet occasionally, and they'd both feel a shiver race up their spines and feel their pulses quicken before they looked away again and spoke to each other with deliberate casualness, mimicing the tones of their normal conversation until the rushed and heady feeling receded again and they weren't pretending to act the way they normally did. It was a game, and one they were learning to play skillfully.
But when it came down to it, Shishido Ryoh was impatient with those kinds of games.
It was Thursday afternoon, after practice. On Thursdays, the first years didn't have swing practice and they didn't chase the upperclassmen's balls - they ran, laps, for the whole of practice. Shishido figured it was a decent way to weed out the kids who weren't serious; after all, no kind of casual tennis player would, at the age of twelve, put up with an hour and a half of running and nothing but running for a day a week, on top of the daily allottment of laps, no matter how good the tennis club was. On running days, he and Atobe would jog in tandem, matching their strides and their breaths and not speaking as they steadily sped up and passed all their classmates, their expressions equally blank with twin glints of determination in their eyes, and that day wasn't any different - except that Shishido felt his breath quickening in a different way than usual, and his dark brown eyes deepened to near black anytime he happened to glance to his right at his best friend.
He didn't plan to do anything about it, to do anything to shift the delicate equilibrium of the past two weeks, but then, between one moment and the next, he stopped laughing at Atobe's commentary on their day at school, and had pulled his best friend behind a thick tree. And he was kissing him, harder and deeper than he had the first time.
Atobe stiffened, and then his hands gripped at the crisp white fabric of Shishido's uniform shirt. "What are you doing?" he mumbled as the kiss finally eased.
"Kissing you. Idiot." Shishido leaned in again, and Atobe reached up, yanking Shishido's dark, smooth hair out of its perennial tail.
"About time," he said, tilting his head and parting his lips and kissing back, just as hard and just as demandingly.
They'd kept themselves frozen in a holding pattern for two weeks, but in a moment that broke apart, and they started to hurtle towards change again.